Re: Dynamic compilation/linking (David Keppel)
Thu, 12 Dec 91 21:00:50 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (David Keppel)
Keywords: linker
Organization: Computer Science & Engineering, U. of Washington, Seattle
References: 91-12-031
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 91 21:00:50 GMT

Steve Boswell <> writes:
>[Compile to C, then compile and dynamically-link C.
> Can this be done portably?]

The moderator (John Levine) writes:
>[No, but there may be things that can be ported easily.]

Many LISP systems (e.g., KCL) do what you want. So if you can find a LISP
that works on all of your target platforms, you're in business. See also
the GNU dynamic linker `dld' and the man pages for `ld' for Your Favorite
System(tm). Problems you're likely to find are:

  * There are differnt models for linking.
  * Some systems prohibit dynamic linking (only a few).
  * Some tools are broken.

Note also that dynamic linking can be divided in to various phases:
modifying the object code for its final placement in the address space,
modifying other parts of the address space (e.g., if you're installing
|_printf| dynamically, you generally need to rebind all sites that call
|_printf|). So e.g., `ld' will relocate an object, but it's up to you to
update all call sites for that object.

Be careful, also, that the compile/link cycle is usually slow enough that
it's a performance problem for interactive systems if e.g., each line
entered by the user is compiled and linked using the standard tool.

My own contribution here is _A Portable Interface for On-The-Fly
Instruction Space Modifciation_, Proceedings of ASPLOS-IV, 1991. The
paper describes a portable interface for managing I-cache coherency, but
assumes the existance of a dynamic linker for doing relocation.

;-D on ( Enteractive ) Pardo

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